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"VOWS OF WAX"
For the first time in over 25 years, "voti di cera", literally "vows of wax" were again carried during the procession on August 20, 2006. The "voti di cera" are wax representations of various body parts which devotees believe were cured through the intercession of a Saint.

The vows of wax were and remain, very popular forms of demonstrating thanksgiving to a saint throughout Southern Italy.

As St. Rocco is among other things the patron Saint of the sick, it was logical that devotees marching with the wax representations would play an important role in his procession. In conversations with older Italian Americans who experienced St. Rocco's procession during the 30s, 40s, 50s, the "wax body parts always played a role in their fond memories."

Unfortunately, approximately 20 years ago, a priest formerly at St. Joseph's, determined that the wax "vows" were "archaic" and "pagan" and destroyed them. Mr. LaRocca in his never-ending mission to restore every element of the feast, searched for a way to obtain replacements.

His search ended when Joseph Rigitano, a society member returned to his hometown in Calabria, where he was able to obtain new wax models and bring them back to New York. These wax vows were carried in the 2006 procession and will continue to be carried in the processions of years to come.
  
     
 
     
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